Associated Nursing earns 73% profit rise

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The Independent Online
NEW HOME openings, higher operating profit margins, lower interest charges and a significant contribution from new project management contracts combined to increase Associated Nursing Services' pre-tax profits by 73 per cent to pounds 1.26m in the half year to 30 September. Excluding an exceptional profit of pounds 172,000 in 1992, the rise was 127 per cent.

After a long absence, ANS returned to the dividend list in 1992/3 with a final of 1p, and is proposing a 0.5p interim dividend. Earnings, reined back by resumed tax payments and a pounds 1.56m share placing in April, rose by 36 per cent to 9p.

Turnover rose 40 per cent to pounds 10.1m. The main drive came from Care Haven, a design and project activity, where operating profits rose from pounds 17,000 to pounds 301,000 on sales up from pounds 1.1m to pounds 3.7m. Two more homes are opening this year, with a third 120-bed home under construction in Edinburgh.

Margins in ANS's core nursing homes, where profits rose from pounds 1.57m to pounds 1.73m on sales up pounds 0.1m to pounds 5.6m, improved from 33 per cent to 36 per cent.

Delays caused by the introduction of the Community Care Act in April caused occupancy rates to dip, but they returned to a maintained 93 per cent by the end of the half year.

A new 120-bed home was commissioned in Glasgow, increasing the number of registered beds from 1,246 in March to 1,374.

The proceeds of the April share placing and the exercising of 547,765 warrants to raise pounds 958,000 helped to reduce gearing from 90.6 per cent to 68.1 per cent. Net interest charges were down from pounds 914,000 to pounds 545,000.

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